10 Ways to Deal with Long Distance Relationships in Merchant Navy

What do you do when you find that right person you have been looking for except that he/she can’t be around as much as you’d wish for? Anything but give up. Problems in a long distance relationship are something every mariner would know about and will have to deal with throughout his or her career.

One of the very few downsides of being in merchant navy would be to stay away from loved ones for long intervals. It is definitely hard and more often than not brings people to crossroads where managing a career with long distance relationship in other hand becomes really difficult.

Representation Image – Photograph by Angelbert Dungog

But the good news for all those trying to make a long distance relationship work is that the hope is not lost yet. Here is something about long distance relationship advice that could do you a lot of good.

1.  Be honest – Transparency is the Key

If you are in a new long distance relationship, you better tell the other person about all the complications of being in merchant navy. This could save you lots of misunderstandings and a broken heart later.

2.  Contact through snail mail – Old is Gold

One of the most prominent problems in a long distance relationship is of lack of communication especially if you are in merchant navy. The travel for most seafarers takes them to different parts of the world, often with limited telephone coverage or internet access. In such cases, go back a step and give your old snail mail a try. This conventional way of communicating allows you to stay in touch even while away without any technology to help you out. And to be frank, it does make it a little more exciting with the handwritten letters and cards that smell like your spouse’s favorite perfume.

3.  Be understanding – Nothing works better than understanding your partner

This is probably the most crucial long distance relationship advice. To make a long distance relationship work, you need to understand that your partner may not always be able to contact you because of the very nature of their job which they do because they love it and also because they have to.

Being in merchant navy means there could be times your partner can’t contact you enough even by standards of a long distance relationship. However, it is important that you understand that this makes it that much harder for your partner to be away from people they love and not be able to do anything about it. Your understanding is their only support.

4.  Keep a diary – Note down What he or she likes or dislikes

This way, you can record lots of little things that make up your life in absence of your partner. That way, your partner can come back and take a sneak peek at any of those many days they missed with you. Every single page of such a diary with your feelings on it would make it like there had been no absence ever.

Also, if you are not a diary person, you can even write down all the important things about your partner which would help you in several occasions such as choosing gifts, wishing for an important occasion etc.

5. Company provisions for spouses – Make Use of the Benefits

Merchant navy and relationships aren’t really meant to gel together but this does not mean they absolutely can’t. Many companies understand the need for seafarers to stay close to their loved ones for as much time as they can snatch away from their hectic work.

There is a provision allowing spouses to stay onboard for a brief period of time. Sure this is not a permanent solution to any of your problems in a long distance relationship but it’s definitely a temporary respite. Make sure you take benefit of this provision whenever you can.

6. Work out a schedule –Plan, Plan, and More Plan

A more practical way to deal with distance in a relationship would be to work out a schedule. Set a schedule that suits both persons so that you can plan other things around it, not hampering with your work.

Of course there could be times when minor interruptions come in this schedule but that are where you refer to point number three again.In any case, work out a schedule so that you can plan a vacation when you are back together on land.

7.  Get involved with other things – Don’t get Stuck

One thing that many people get confused with is that a career with a long distance relationship does not mean you shouldn’t have a life. You need to remember that there is more to life than being torn between work and wait for your partner’s call. If you have a partner in merchant navy who you know will be gone for months, it only makes sense you keep a backup plan. Keep yourself busy. Catch up with friends.

Take up a hobby. Get a life that allows you to take you mind off things about a long distance relationship that you are struggling with. Do this and soon you will see the struggling decreasing. This would save you from a lot of complaining and negation when you talk with your partner.

8. Communicate as much as you can – Try Every Way Possible

And while you go and live your side of life you will find it much easier to communicate with your partner. But always remember to not miss any chance to do so. Being away especially in a job like merchant navy, missing out on lots of things can be a hurtful feeling. It’s important you talk as much as your work schedule allows you to so that you can stay in the loop and feel the closeness even in the distance.

9. Trust them – Don’t be of the Doubting Type

If there is one solid long distance relationship advice, it would be to always trust your partner. Keep your faith that things will work out, that they wish to work things out, that distance does not diminish love and that your partner always wants to have you around. Trust is the key that can make distance in a relationship seem insignificant, always. Have a positive approach towards your relationship and life.

10.  Bring back lots of gifts

One other way to deal with such a relationship would be to not miss any opportunity to keep your partner happy. Never forget to bring back lots and lots of gifts. Think that’s insignificant? Try coming back home after six months on a ship without a single present and see the difference for yourself.

The point is not to show that being materialistic is the way of life, but it’s important that you show appreciation through something that your partner likes.

You may also like to read:- 8 Ways Seafarers can make their Loved Ones Feel Special this Valentine’s Day

References: consciousloving, my-bellavita, my-bellavita

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  1. Reading this post you seem to be experienced when it comes to long distant naval relationships. My question for you is simple and complicated yet I’m sure not alone. I have known (as I will say) ” my sailor” for over ten years. We have been the best of friends for a long time but it has been of recent that we have expressed feelings for each other. I have acknowledged it has been three years since the last time we have personally seen each other. Skype, phone calls and texts are wonders but nothing is like the personal experiences . I do like him a lot and I know I always will but how do you know when a long distance military relationship will last? When do you know it is worth it for both sides?

  2. Im with him for 7 years and im into all the tips mentioned. However, i have difficulty but still do my best to understand the nature of the job. My sailor has been constantly getting in touch with me everyday through internet access but there are times he will not. Especially if there is a provision coming. How can I be so sure that nobody (girl/prosti) would ever come to him? And if you are also concern with the spouses or family left home, then why is this allowed?

  3. I am from Malaysia.Can I trust a marine engineer from LA who wished to build a strong friendship with me?We had been trying our best to spend time chatting with each other and he even wanted to post me some presents later.I was a bit afraid and not bold enough to send him my details.He stopped replying me when I asked him to make video call with me.I just feel a bit unsafe as I hadn’t seen his face before.I could only see few photos of him…

  4. I really like this guy, he found me we have been texting and calling. He had to go on a business trip he told me when he gets back he will be going right back to work he told me what he did and would be gone for 2 weeks or a month. He did send me a text I didn’t respond to it right away. I been texting calling nothing back. I started thinking the worse. I wasn’t able to get info and I could write to him. When he checks his message he’s going to have alot. I miss him

  5. Going to marry a sailor ….
    And he always keep telling me that whenever I can’t contact you don’t get upset and keep smiling thinking of me and just think I m Missing you too ……
    And I know it’s going to be hard but for his happiness and smile I love to do this ….????????

  6. Well, I am not the type who gets involved in long distance relationships but my sailor is the best thing that has ever happened to me. He’s transparent about everything and I feel that he’s the one I have been waiting for. I get courage from God knows where and I am willing to go down the Navy road with him.??

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